Remember my hot date on Friday, the 13th? He’s in Rundu now, so how could I have missed the opportunity of a trip? After all, 879km is just around the corner compared to Romania. And since Namibia offers such a diverse landscape, there’s no better way to travel then by bus. Maybe just hitchhiking would have been better.
It is, indeed, amazing the way the landscape changes from wavey sand dunes close to Walvis Bay to green hills close to Rundu. And the mostly empty long road adds to the beauty of it all. I sat in a crowded mini-bus, barely having enough space to keep my arms next to my body, yet I was too busy taking in the views to notice the small inconvenience of the trip. The desert and the ocean are pretty awesome, but I missed seeing green hills and the contrast is really unexpected.
Rundu is north of Namibia. The only thing between Rundu and Angola is Kavango river, the fourth longest river in southern Africa (after Zambezi, Orange River and Limpopo River). Kavango begins in Angola and is stuck between three countries: Namibia (37%), Angola (48%) and Botswana (15%) – excuse the percentages, I have my moments of trying to be accurate with such facts.
It’s not easy to be in Kavango river’s shoes, especially when water means life and when you’re too big to be small and too small to be big. There’re too many contradictory expectations from all three countries. Namibia wants energy (it currently imports over 50% from South Africa) and water for people living far from the river, Botswana wants wild life (there’re 150,000 elephants in Okavango delta) and tourists, Angola wants energy and water as well. Not to mention that about 60 million people in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) don’t have access to safe drinking water. It’s definitely tough to be Kavango!
All countries signed an agreement back in 1994 to determine the best ways to share the river. They managed relatively well so far, there’s only one power plant (50kW) between Divundu and Angolan border – I’m not sure, though, if it’s mostly Namibia benefiting from it or rather everyone. Lately, however, Namibia is trying to convince Botswana that a power plant at Popa Falls (Namibian territory where about 20-30MW of power could be produced) would not magically transform the 150,000 islands in Okavango delta (territory of Botswana) into one big mainland.
No idea how poor Kavango can take so much pressure, nor how one could balance all the contradictory requests from the three different countries.
All I know is that sharing is caring.